LAFAYETTE — Nicholls State proved to be the appropriate remedy for a University of Louisiana at Lafayette football team in need of a victory.
The Cajuns scored on the first drive of the game and didn’t receive much resistance from Nicholls after that Saturday night as the Cajuns rolled to a 70-7 victory over the Colonels before 28,271 at Cajun Field.
It also proved to be an historic occasion as Louisiana-Lafayette collected the 500th victory in the 113 years the university has fielded a football team.
The Cajuns’ points were also the most scored in program history since 1943 in a 75-0 win over Lake Charles Air Force Base when the Lafayette school was called Southwestern Louisiana Institute and the team mascot was the Bulldogs.
Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said his team was motivated when it saw the crowd that had assembled just before kickoff.
After opening the season with consecutive road losses at Arkansas and Kansas State, Hudspeth said his team was ready to play well at home.
“They wanted to play hard. One of the things this team prides itself in is protecting the house, and the fact that we always play hard at home,” Hudspeth said.
Louisiana-Lafayette compiled 620 total yards, including 456 on 53 rushing attempts.
“You never know what is going to happen,” Hudspeth said. “Our running backs came in and they ran the ball hard. The one thing that really makes this win special is all our guys got into the game before one of the biggest crowds that I’ve ever seen at Cajun Field.
“I think we got across to our team that anything less than their best effort would be unacceptable at Cajun Field,” Hudspeth said.
Nicholls generated 305 offensive yards.
The Colonels started junior Beaux Hebert at quarterback and then midway in the second Hebert was replaced by former Crowley High player Tuskani Figaro.
Figaro threw for 77 yards and rushed for 40. Hebert passed for 56 after completing 5-of-17 attempts.
Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs said his team was “bruised and battered” after two road games.
Things spiraled out of hand early as the Cajuns outgained Nicholls 233-64 in the first quarter and took a 28-0 lead by the end of the period.
Nicholls did its part to assist the Cajuns with their first-half scoring.
The Cajuns set up two touchdowns with a fumble and an interception after middle linebacker Justin Anderson returned an Hebert pass 58 yards for a touchdown with 53 seconds left in the first quarter.
By halftime, the lead increased to 49-7 as the Cajuns compiled 413 offensive yards at an average of 10 yards per play.
ULL also scored touchdowns on nine of the first 10 offensive possessions.
The Colonels (1-2) didn’t score until 1:25 remained in the first half when Figaro threw a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Demon Bolt.
Until then, however, the offensive domination by the Cajuns was almost complete.
ULL running back Alonzo Harris, who didn’t start, broke through the Colonels’ defense on a 65-yard touchdown on the game’s third snap.
On their next series, the Cajuns moved 96 yards — their longest of the season — in 11 plays and scored as quarterback Terrance Broadway kept the ball on a 24-yard zone option play as he followed a key block from receiver Jamal Robinson.
The Cajuns made it 21-0 with 1:47 left after they drove 63 yards in five plays. Freshman receiver Devon Scott set up the TD on a 37-yard completion from Broadway.
A Corey Trim interception at the Colonels’ 30 provided ULL with the setting for 4-yard Torrey Pierce touchdown run with 5:45 before intermission.
ULL true freshman running back Elijah McGuire scored the next two touchdowns.
One of those came after true freshman defensive lineman Remaine Douglas recovered a fumble that was forced by Marvin Martin at the Nicholls’ 29.
That touchdown run followed McGuire’s 4-yard run that ended a three-play, 55-yard drive.
McGuire, who played at Houma’s Vandebilt Catholic last year, scored his third TD of the game on a 42-yard run with 8:24 left in the third quarter.
Broadway played the entire first half and left the game midway in the third. The junior from Capitol High-Baton Rouge completed 10-of-13 passes for 149 yards.
McGuire, who came into the game during the second quarter, ran eight times for 137 yards.
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